06 January, 2020
2019: Looking Back on the Blog
Another year and I'm still here, even though 2019 wasn't my best blogging year. It's worth looking back though, as survival is a feat in itself! And worth celebrating. Remember that!
Over 2019, I wrote sixty posts, which I'm quite pleased about, as it averages one a week, with a few more thrown in. Sixty times last year, I thought about writing about not having children, I thought about the positives and negatives of my situation, and I thought about what you might want or need to hear about. Sixty times I reminded myself to be honest. I might not have always had words of wisdom (I hope I had some), and sometimes (like yesterday), I might skim past the topics, but even in that fact, I hope I'm showing that I am not defined by my No Kidding status. Instead, I'm just living my No Kidding life.
I kicked off the year with good intentions for blogging in 2019. I'm not sure I met many (any?) of these "blogging resolutions", but that's okay. There's always this year!
January and February saw me write my five-post menopause series, which you can find here. It's funny, because just a year later, it feels like something I wrote a long time ago, and something I went through in the dim and distant past. I'm still on HRT, and I still overheat, but the horror memories are fading, thank goodness.
A lot of my writings have been focused on my efforts to see things from both sides. Two in particular are:
Issues from all sides
How infertility affects our world views
Stories we tell ourselves
I've written more about ageing when you don't have children, sometimes specifically, sometimes in thinking about the need to build a community, and quite often about what legacy we leave when we don't leave children. Perhaps that's natural when for the last years I've been surrounded by elderly parents and in-laws, with only one left still hanging in there. Ironically, having written about Recipes as Legacy, I was hunting for my mother-in-law's zucchini chutney recipe recently, and can't find it in her recipe books, despite finding at least one carefully copied recipe I gave her which I know she never made. It is very frustrating, as it is one of only a few recipes of hers I actually wanted, and I can't find it!
I started last year with some optimism because of a potentially changed situation, but due to someone else's misfortune, that didn't continue. It's a situation I'm not happy about, but have to remind myself - Pain Olympics style - that perspective is everything. Perhaps because of this though, and perhaps unconsciously, I wrote a couple of posts about suppressing ourselves, our wishes, our realities.
Suppressing our personalities
Celebrations vs Grief
But on the other hand, I did talk about occasions when I spoke out. These small instances, when I (figuratively) stamp my foot and refuse to let my situation be ignored, help me to remind myself, and the world, that I'm here, and that I (and all of us who are Not Kidding) count.
Speaking out revisited
Don't render me invisible
As usual, I got a lot of inspiration from other readers and writers on this topic, both from their posts, and comments. My posts are often sparked by ideas when I read a post, whether I agree with it, want to take it a bit further, or on a different tangent, or when I vehemently disagree. I think it helps me a lot when I try to figure out why those I disagree with take that attitude. Understanding, even if I still disagree, helps. So I thank you all for thinking and writing and discussing and inspiring me. Please continue to do it!
Finally, I conducted a To Instagram or Not survey. I'm monitoring the results, but will close it in the next week, so if you haven't commented, or filled it in, please do so here. It'll only take you about one minute! It's a question of whether to add Instagram to the No Kidding online presence, not to replace this space here, which was a concern of many.
Here's to another year of blogging, of thinking, of growing, and of trying to continue to be able to say, I'm Not Kidding.
This is an annual nod to Mel, who used to run the Crème de la Crème, where we would list our favourite post of the year. It always provided inspiring reading. So even though it doesn’t happen officially now, I hope that you too will list your favourite posts from your own blogs, on your blogs, for us to enjoy again (or for the first time).
PS: And Mel has reminded me that this week is blog delurking week. So do leave a quick hello in the comments (I'm okay with anonymous comments if you're really shy) or send a quick email. I'd love to start the year knowing who is here reading.